Domestic violence is a scary situation that is every woman’s nightmare. Monday we had a chance to visit and hear one local survivor's story.
Since Janet Stephens was a child she has been a victim of domestic violence.
"I just escaped with the clothes on my back and my purse and that's all I had because I was afraid for my life,” Stephens says.
"My father was abusive, my stepfather was. My first husband was abusive and my second husband was extremely abusive, that's all I've known,” Stephens adds.
Stephens found comfort with ICD Bridges 2 years ago, a place where victims have been abused can seek help. Tammy Harris, Executive Director of ICD Bridges says that in the past couple years they have seen a 15% increase of victims who have seeked comfort with the organization. Harris says that many factors can lead to domestic violence.
Harris says, "You don't deserve to be treated this way no one does this isn't love and isn’t' a healthy relationship. She feels like she loves him but you’re not going to be able to change him and his behavior and you’re not responsible for his behavior.”
The abuse may either be verbally, psychologically or physically, either way Stephens says it’s a life changing matter.
"It comes to the point where you just give up in fear. Because you’re afraid that he will do something harmful to you and he does. I have some permanent injuries because of my relationships,” Stephens says.
Stephens hopes that her situation is a lesson for other victims.
"I think the #1 thing is to tell everybody, that there is something that they can do. And they need to know that this is not the way life is supposed to be," Stephens says.
ICD Bridges also wants victims to know that you are not alone, it is not your fault and help is available. You can also phone the 24 hour hotline at 1-800-749-8631.